Now that Costa Rica’s Independence Day was over, it was time to do Costa Rica Caribbean style :-). I was really looking forward to going to the Caribbean side of the country. For much of my trip I have been along the Pacific coast.
The ride there was through the mountains. It was misty or raining through a lot of it until I reached Limon on the Caribbean coast.
Originally I thought about staying in Limon but couldn’t find a hotel I liked. Good thing I didn’t as it is a dirty port town. The roads were congested with container trucks coming and going to storage facilities filed with Chiquita and Dole containers. I was anxious to get out of there and to Puerto Viejo where I booked a hotel.
One thing was evident as I rode through Limon and into Puerto Viejo, there were far more Afro-Costa Ricans than in any other part of the country. Being curious as to why, I looked it up.
As expected, their descendants were initially slaves who worked on plantations and ranches. Later on, blacks came freely to fish and work on the railroad. By the 1930’s the economic situation was bad and employers were pressured to only hire Costa Ricans and not blacks. Huuuummm seems to be a re-occuring theme in the world. In 1936, the government passed a law that blacks could not go past the White highlands. When that law was finally rescinded, the Afro-Costa Ricans were settled along the Caribbean coast and mostly stayed there.
I arrived in Puerto Viejo too early to check into the hotel I booked, Caribbean Comfort. As I rode through town I noticed a cool restaurant by the water that had a parking spot where I could watch my motorcycle. It wasn’t much of a decision to stop and get a hamburger and sneak in a beer as my hotel was just a couple blocks away. Of course, in Puerto Viejo everything is just a couple blocks away. There I sat enjoying the view.
I think I’m going to like this place.
Eventually I checked into the the hotel. It was so nice. Nice big room with a King size bed and kitchen. Wow! there was even a nice patio with hammock and chairs.
Did I say I think I’m going to like this place?!
It was hot here! So my routine consisted of going for coffee in the morning, walking around, and then staying inside during the heat of the day until the evening.
There were a couple cool coffee places. Because I paid for my hotel in cash, the owner gave me a couple gift certificates for a place across the street that was only open a few hours a day. But the food was awesome.
And it looked onto a funky restaurant I never did try.
Another place I loved was Cafe Rico.
Amazing food and the people were so nice.
After coffee were my morning walks around town.
Do you think I took enough pictures? ha ha
In the evening I would go out again after the heat and rain.
One day I did venture out to a beach not too far away – Playa Cocles.
So amazing. Once again, I’ll let the photos do the talking for me.
I hope the pictures did Puerto Viejo justice. If you are looking to relax in a quirky, basic, small, beach paradise, then Puerto Viejo is the place. There isn’t much to do but chill out Caribbean style. I really need to learn how to do that 🙁 Just sitting and relaxing for long periods is something I’m not good at. Perhaps it would have been good for me to stay a lot longer than I did to learn this.
Such a cool place.
As the signs say on the tree in the feature image for this post:
Pura Vida (Pure Life)
Never Give Up